Creative Corner: fiction A Bad Dream

The following is an account transcribed from an anonymous source about their encounter with an unidentified anomaly.

I heard this is where people go to submit weird dreams … A dream. That’s all it was, right? I read the last issue, and there is no way that wasn’t a dream. And what I saw. That was a dream, too. Right?

I was cat sitting for my aunt. She lives near campus and was going on a business trip. She had just gotten the cat, Bunbun, a few months ago, and she didn’t want to board him. My mom asked me to help her out, and I needed the money anyways. I fed Bunbun and cleaned his litterbox throughout the week, but my aunt asked me to stay the night over the weekend.

I wasn’t really fond of the idea because my aunt lives in this kinda old house. It’s not creepy per se, but when I was little, the floorboards would creak throughout the night. It scared the crap out of me. Mom told me not to be a baby about it.

Bunbun was a nice cat. Still a little wild, and he was completely bipolar when it came to how much he wanted to cuddle, but he was cute. He didn’t give me any issues during that week. When I arrived that Friday after classes, he didn’t seem bothered by my extended presence. He was a weird cat, though.

I would be sitting in the living room, and every now and then, he would get up from wherever he had been lying, walk to the middle of the room, and just stare into one of the corners of the room. It was the same corner every time, too, and there was nothing there. There wasn’t any furniture, and there was nothing on the wall. It was just an empty corner. 

At around eight at night, Bunbun decided it was time to stare at the wall again, but this time, he raised his haunches, and started slowly backing away from the corner. It became increasingly difficult to ignore when he started hissing. I stared at the corner and tried to see what he saw. I got up, walked closer, and ran my hands along the wall.

To the right of the corner, barely even visible, was a seam in the wallpaper. It was discolored along its edge, and the longer I stared at it the more obvious it seemed to be. Had this stain always been there? Had the wallpaper always been curling up from the wall there? There was something behind it. I could see that now. There was no way I should have missed the rectangle shaped protrusion that was pressing against and ripping this old wallpaper. 

I ran my fingers against the tear, and without even thinking about it, I pulled the wallpaper back from the wall. I ripped it like a Band-Aid, and behind it was a mirror… At least it looked like a mirror, but whatever was in it… That thing was not me.

Its hairs were stiff strings that looked too dirty to discern any kind of color. It looked so dry that its lips had ripped and pulled back from its mouth, revealing jagged, blackened nubs, and its eyes… Its eyes… they were shriveled and hung limp from the thing’s eye sockets.

I screamed and it silently did the same. I raised my hands to block an attack that was almost certain to come, but nothing did. When I lowered my arms, the thing was doing the same. I slowly raised a hand to my face, and once again the thing touched and prodded its own face in return. I ran a hand through my hair and watched as the thing pulled several strands of its hair from its scalp. I looked to my own hand and saw strands of my own blonde hair caught in my grip.

In the mirror, I saw a shadow move behind the thing and quickly turned around. There was nothing there but Bunbun. His haunches were still raised, and he was still staring but not at the corner. He was staring at me. His pupils were blown wide as he looked at me as if I was some kind of monster. I turned back to the mirror and screamed again. The thing was pressed up against the barrier of the mirror, its hands pressing against it. As I watched, the mirror seemed to bend around the force of the thing’s hands.

That’s when I ran. I should have run before that, but the thought hadn’t even occurred to me before then. I didn’t bother to grab my things as I ran out of the house, slamming the door behind me. I didn’t stop until I got back to campus, until I got back to my own dorm where I could crawl under my sheets and hide.

I didn’t go back. That Sunday, I got a call from my aunt crying about how Bunbun had gotten out. “The door was closed though, right?” I said. “Yes, but the door was unlocked so someone must have come and took him,” she said. She told me to come pick up my stuff, but I wouldn’t be getting paid. When I did, a day later, the tear in the corner was fixed, or never existed in the first place.

It was a dream, right? It had to be. I had a bad dream and woke up and ran from the house. I didn’t lock the door, and someone came and took Bunbun. Someone. Not something. There was nothing in the house. It was a dream … it was a dream.

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